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Chat: Mark Anderson

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday January 15, 2015 6:00 PM ET chat session with Mark Anderson.

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Prospect team stalwart Mark Anderson has time to spare and opinions to share. Ask him anything.

Mark Anderson: Okay folks...dinner has been scarfed down and I'm secluded with a glass of bourbon and plenty of questions from all of you! Let's do this!

Jim (Orlando): I'm having a hard time getting a read on Willy Adames ... getting the impression Ahmed Rosario, Gleyber Torres are better prospects (bat and defense) ... what's your take?

Mark Anderson: I really like Adames and believe he could be a solid regular at the MLB level. That said, I'm a bigger fan of Rosario and Torres. I would take both as low-level shortstop prospects ahead of Adames. There's too much in Adames' game that leaves me slightly down on the defensive profile and an aggressive approach that could limit the offensive output. That said, Adames is a very good prospect, and one the Rays were smart to target at the deadline last year.

Jimmy (Baltimore): How much of a prospect is Pat Connaughton? How well can he do at baseball if he's still playing basketball, and will he take off if he quits basketball after his senior year?

Mark Anderson: I have a pretty lengthy evaluative history with Connaughton, dating back to his time in high school. I like him quite a bit and believe he is poised for a breakout 2015 campaign. With the focus on baseball, and the present raw ability and feel for the game, I really think he has the ingredients to turn into a 3/4 starter type if it all comes together.

Bobby Wahl (Mississippi/Parts unknown): Do I have top 100 potential even as a pure reliever?

Mark Anderson: There's impact potential out of the bullpen, but without an extended stretch on the field and healthy, I don't see how there's enough to overcome the high risk Wahl's profile carries. If he can find a way to stay on the field, he could shoot to the big leagues and ultimately end up in a high-end setup role, or even a tick better.

Jim (Chicago): You are the high man on Tim Anderson, correct? Why? What do you see that really stands out? Hope for his plate discipline?

Mark Anderson: There may be some confusion here with another member of the BP staff. I'm certainly not the high man on Anderson, though I do consider him a very strong prospect. The approach scares me, but I'm an admitted sucker for loud tools sets. I think Anderson is receiving an appropriate amount of praise and attention right now, and if the tools continue to evolve and translate to game action, my view of him may catch up with those on the staff that are bigger believers.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Buck Farmer. What do we have here and how close is he to being a rotation stalwart?

Mark Anderson: Farmer is a swingman or 5th starter for me. I don't see much more than that, and there's a distinct chance that he fits better as a reliever as a result of suspect command and consistency. He can mix his arsenal and is a strong kid that can handle a robust workload, but the package just doesn't stack up in a rotation for me. I'm very skeptical of his ultimate future.

Ron (Texarkana): Dynasty League - Rodon, Schwarber, Moncada,Y. Tomas, R. Castillo - what order would you draft them in?

Mark Anderson: Dynasty questions are certainly not my strong suit, so you're probably better off re-asking this question to one of our excellent fantasy guys, but I would be inclined to go Moncada, Schwarber, Rodon, Castillo, Tomas.

Vic (Baltimore): Ramiel Tapia? How far in development is he behind Dahl?

Mark Anderson: I would say he's a full step behind Dahl, simply because Dahl's overall approach at the plate and defensive tools are further along at this point. Tapia has exceptional potential, but his offensive approach and defensive game need to slow down and come along for him to reach his ceiling. Dahl has already made some of those strides.

dvanhait (Holland): Have any thoughts on Christian Colon (KC)? Are they grooming him to replace Infante????

Mark Anderson: There's a reasonably possibility that Colon will get a shot at the second base job, but I'm not sure I would say they are grooming him for the position. For me, Colon is more likely to slot into a utility role than he is an everyday role at the MLB level, at least for a team with designs on contending.

Bob (Ohio): Thanks Mark. Take a stab at what you think a peak Bryce Harper season looks like.

Mark Anderson: Harper is so insanely talented that it is difficult to conceptualize what he could do in a peak season if everything comes together. He has enough talent, assuming health, that he could put up seasons that rank among some of the best in the history of the game. We could see a .280-.290 average, 35-40+ home runs and other gaudy numbers that are tough to come by in the current environment of the game. It's tough to determine that a player could legitimately put up numbers like that, but he has the talent to do it.

Jimmy (Nueva Jersey): Do you think Yoan Moncado has a better chance of signing before the season (end of March, or so) or after July 2nd?

Mark Anderson: I have a feeling we will see Moncado cleared by OFAC and signed during this international signing period. Barring something crazy during the clearance process, I have to believe we're approaching the end of that stretch and then we can let the bidding begin.

dvanhait (Holland): Any chance we'll see any more offensive output from Matt Dominguez this year or has he reached his potential?

Mark Anderson: I remain pessimistic that we're going to see much in the way of development for Dominguez at the plate. In my view, he's reached the point where he "is what he is," and there's a role for that player in the big leagues.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mark, What do you think is Correa's ETA and would it more likely be at SS or at 3B?

Mark Anderson: I would expect Correa to arrive in Houston in 2016 (at least for more than a brief taste), and I completely expect that to happen at the shortstop position.

Brian (Boston): I have heard a lot of good things about Rafael Devers. What can you tell me about him? Do you think he will develop into an elite prospect?

Mark Anderson: I'm not going to toss around the word "elite" with Devers, or many prospects for that matter. Devers has a chance to have an extreme offensive profile that includes average and power, and if he can find enough defensive chops to stay on the dirt at third base, he could be an infielder with monster offensive potential. I'm a big fan and see him as a guy that will be considered one of the top 25-30 prospects in the game by the end of 2015.

DanDaMan (Sea Cliff): Is there an injury expert at BP this year? If so, who would that be?

Mark Anderson: According to our EIC Sam Miller, Corey Dawkins is still and will continue to manage and update BP's injury database. There are currently no plans for an injury columnist, but the information is still available and updated constantly.

kiper90 (Rochester, NY): Hey Mark, what are your thoughts on Ryan McMahon and Nomar Mazara heading into 2015 & beyond? Think both can become role 6 type players?

Mark Anderson: Everything would have to break perfectly for McMahon to reach a role 6 profile, and I have trouble getting there when I see him or consider the package of skills and ability. I like McMahaon, but I think he ends up more of a solid regular than a standout player. I'm biting a little harder on Mazara, and I would be willing to say he has a reasonable chance to develop into a role 6 type.

Both players need to continue making strides in 2015, and I think Mazara is a little further ahead in terms of his feel for the game, giving him a slight leg up in the race for the big leagues.

allangustafson (San Diego): More likely to get 200 innings in 2015: Stroman, Alex Wood, Gausman. Which pitcher makes the 2016 All-Star game?

Mark Anderson: I think Wood is the only one of the three that's even close to ready for 200 innings at the MLB level. Stroman and Gausman are talented enough to handle that workload eventually, but I don't think that happens in 2015. For the 2016 All-Star game? Give me Gausman.

Steve (Toronto): Mark, who do you think is better for the Blue Jays' fifth spot, Sanchez or Norris? Thanks for doing the chat!

Mark Anderson: Out of the gate in 2015 I would take Norris. Sanchez isn't ready to work through an MLB lineup multiple times, and while Norris still needs additional work in his own right< I have more faith in his ability to handle MLB hitters over the course of multiple looks right now.

lipitorkid (Costa Mesa, CA): I was wondering what you thought of the acquisition of 3B Kyle Kubitza by the Angels and if there's a chance we might see him in 2015?

Mark Anderson: Depending on the success (or lack thereof?) of David Freese in 2015, Kubitza could find an opportunity during the second half of the season. I don't have terribly high expectations for his MLB future, and I consider him more of a bench bat with some second division potential, but that doesn't mean he couldn't provide some value in limited time in 2015.

Ron (Texarkana): Who has a greater impact on their respective team, Rusney Castillo, or Yasmany Tomas? Why?

Mark Anderson: I'll take Rusney Castillo. Between the defensive value and more comfort with the application of the hit tools, I think Castillo can be an above-average everyday player in the short term (and possibly more long term). Tomas doesn't carry the defensive profile and there are enough questions about the translation of the hitting ability, that his impact could take a while to evolve, if it ever truly does.

Giles (Murin): Does Franklin Barreto profile better as a 2B or CF? And what's the upside in his bat?

Mark Anderson: I like Barreto better in center field, as I think there's enough instincts and speed to play well at the position. Going back to a late-night debate with Jason Parks in Arizona last spring, I have a natural affinity for the center field profile over the second base profile, and with that, I would prefer to see Barreto shift to that position if he can't handle shortstop. Offensively, Barreto has a chance to contribute across the board, which when combined with an up-the-middle profile, is extremely valuable.

Jon (St Paul): I'm having a hard time waiting for the Player Forecast Manager and the top 101 prospects list. Are they on about the same schedule as last year?

Mark Anderson: You won't have to wait much longer for either one! I checked while answering other questions here tonight, and it sounds like the PFM is on target for a release in about 10-12 days, and the Top 101 should be coming shortly after that or as soon as the BP Annual hits shelves!

Dylan (RI): Better Curveball: Lucas Giolito or a healthy Jeff Hoffman?

Mark Anderson: Give me Giolito. Complete filth.

Rich (Maryland): Which low a prospect do you believe will make the most impact: Franchy Cordero, Amed Rosario, Rafael Devers, other of your choice?

Mark Anderson: As much as I may drive the Amed Rosario bandwagon, I'll go with Devers here. His offensive tools are more developed and I think he could be primed for a larger breakout in 2015.

Dave (Des Moines): Who profiles as a better major leaguer, Casey Giilespie or AJ Reed? Thanks.

Mark Anderson: Tough question for me as I'm not a huge believer in either player, but I'll go with Reed. I left the 2014 season completely unimpressed with Gillespie's potential, and I think Reed at least has a chance to be a solid regular at first base.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mark, Not a prospect question, but do you think either Longoria or Price would be worth keeping at $26 each ($260 budget). Thanks!

Mark Anderson: I am honestly the absolute worst possible person to ask this question...I would strongly suggest asking our ridiculously talented BP fantasy team, as they would at least have a prayer of steering you in the right direction.

Bud Bundy (Chicago): Mark! Can you tell me anything about the GCL kid catcher who gunned down 63% of base stealers, Frankie Rodriguez? It's a loooow level of ball, but I've never seen a percentage like that. Thanks!

Mark Anderson: Rodriguez is an undersized kid with some feel for the game and a good arm, but I wouldn't get too excited quite yet, nor would I make much of those GCL numbers.

Bob (Toronto): Does Juan Oramas have any future potential as a major league starter or does he have the stuff that plays up enough to be a weapon at the back end of the pen?

Mark Anderson: Everything I have in my notes on Oramas screams reliever over the long term. The breaking ball, while serviceable in short stints, doesn't play well enough to give a command-oriented lefty the third pitch to last in a rotation. He could get by as an interesting middle reliever, or possibly seventh inning arm with his average fastball, quality changeup, and deception.

Jim (Minneapolis ): Mark, thanks a bunch for the chat!! What's your opinion of Kennys Vargas and your expectations for his production in 2015.

Mark Anderson: I'm certainly not as high on Vargas as BP's own Craig Golstein, but I do think he can contribute some in 2015. I have some reservations about him becoming more than a second division type, mostly rooted in my concerns that he will be able to handle MLB pitching night after night, but he has a solid enough approach and very real raw power, giving him a good chance to run into a few and provide some value.

Silverback38 (VA): Any chance that Clint Frazier reaches his draft day hype?

Mark Anderson: Absolutely. Don't be too quick to judge a high school talent in the Midwest League. That's a massive jump in competition, and not every player's developmental path or timeline are the same. I'm still very, very high on Frazier.

Matt (Cambridge): I've always wondered this about scouting. Say you have a prospect like Jesus Montero. He was labeled as having a plus plus hit tool and plus to plus plus power. Clearly it hasn't worked in the majors. But does the grades of the tools change because you don't scout results. If his swing and bat speed is the same and he still puts on a show at BP while failing against major league pitching, have the grades changed or just the ability to actualize the tools?

Mark Anderson: The grades have certainly changes, and they do tend to change as we see players in different environments and against different competition. Scouting isn't a static analysis of a player. That analysis evolves as the player evolves, and as the circumstances surrounding the player evolve. In terms of someone like Montero, if you are assuming the bat speed and raw power have not changes (as in your example), then from a scouting perspective, there may still be other attributes becoming apparent that may lead you to change your grade; perhaps the ability to recognize pitches, adjust to different approaches from pitchers, lay off certain pitch types or pitches in certain locations, control the barrel through the zone, etc. All of these things could result in a modified grade for either the hit or power tools, all while the bat speed and raw power remain the unchanged (though I wouldn't say those are unchanged for Montero).

KJ (FLA): One prospect I didn't know about until a friend picked him in our dynasty draft (minor league phase) was Dodgers catcher Julian De Leon. I subsequently looked him up and his numbers at his age are outstanding. The little scouting info I've been able to dig up on him has sounded promising as well. What do you think of him, and why haven't we heard more about him?

Mark Anderson: I would say the reason he hasn't been discussed more is how early he still is in the developmental arc. De Leon is certainly intriguing, but he remains light years from the big league radar, making him an extremely risky proposition. The bat is ahead of the glove now, and while there is some defensive projection, there are questions within the scouting community as to how the body and glove come along.

jeff (jeff's house): Where are my pants?

Mark Anderson: For everyone's sake, I hope you are wearing them.

Andy (BOS): Scouting reports seem conflicted on the upside of a guy like Henry Owens who has done nothing but dominate in the minors. Where do you come down on his potential?

Mark Anderson: I haven't seen much of a dramatic split on his upside within the scouting community, but I will concede that there is a drastic difference between where most scouts see him, and where he seems to have been built up to among fans. Owens is a 3/4 starter for me and he could turn in stretches (or even seasons) better than that, but ultimately that is how I believe he will be viewed.

Frank (Denver): What are the odds that David Dahl begins the season in AA, tears it up, and ends the year with the Rockies?

Mark Anderson: I would say the odds of that entire scenario are fairly slim. I adore Dahl, but even I acknowledge that a full year of minor league development in 2015 is probably the best thing for him; allowing him to become more of an impact player in 2016.

George (PA): Mark, good evening. Thanks for doing this chat man. Quick question for you. What are the teams that won't be able to sign Moncada if he doesn't sign until post July 2? There's a list that includes the Red Sox and Yankees because they blew past the international spending limit this past year or something like that where they will only be able to give out a max signing bonus of 300k. Is there any other teams that would be unable to sign Moncada after July 2? I feel like there's a list, but I can only remember 2. Anyways, thanks for listening Mark.

Mark Anderson: If Moncada doesn't sign until after July 2, the Rays, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, and Diamondbacks would be out of the running, but the Cubs and Rangers would be able to re-enter the fray.

tbwhite (san diego): Better prospect: Yorman Rodriguez or Rymer Liriano ?

Mark Anderson: I favor Liriano by a significant margin.

Charles (NYC): Does Jon Gray earn the job atop the Rockies rotation so he can deal with Coors rather than Albuquerque? Or is he more of a ASB call up?

Mark Anderson: I wouldn't expect to see Gray until the second half, or at least until after the Super 2 deadline. The Albuquerque consideration is worth noting, but I don't think it will be enough to push him to the Rockies rotation on Opening Day.

Robbber (Norcal): Who has most most power potential of the first round third basemen - Matt Chapman or Michael Chavis?

Mark Anderson: I have more faith in Chavis getting to his raw power in game situations, and as a result I would give him the edge here.

Ryan (Ontario): Hey, thanks for the chat! What's your take on Rowdy Tellez? Is he someone we should be monitoring? He really came a long way in the 2nd half of last year.

Mark Anderson: I'm pretty suspicious of his ability to develop into a viable MLB prospect down the line. There's certainly raw power but I have only limited comfort with the hit tool projection, and zero comfort with the rest of the tools. He warrants keeping an eye on from a curiosity standpoint, but I'm skeptical he ever develops into anything of substance.

James (LA): We never heard a lot about Chris Bassitt as a prospect, but he was one of the main pieces Oakland got back for Samardzija. Should we expect him to make the Athletics rotation coming out of Spring Training, and what do you think Oakland saw in him that other prospect evaluators didn't?

Mark Anderson: I remain a little miffed at the notion that Bassitt was a highlight of that deal. Bassitt's a nice little arm, but I don't see much of a substantial MLB future for him. I would feel far more comfortably projecting him back to the bullpen, where he was in college, as opposed to the rotation in Oakland, but I respect the fact that he may fill that role in the short term. If he sticks in the rotation, he's a back end starter with limited upside. If the A's saw something else in him, I would be just as curious as you are and can't wait to see how this plays out.

Ryan (San Diego): What are your thoughts on Trevor Bauer and Carlos Martinez? Do you see either putting it all together and developing into a frontline starting pitcher?

Mark Anderson: I have little faith that Bauer becomes anything but a #4 starter, but then again, I've always been the very low man there. I just don't see the control/command developing enough for the pitch mix to work at a higher level. With Martinez, I still have faith it can work as a #2 or #3 starter if the Cardinals want to give him the developmental opportunities in the rotation.

RatedRookie (Atlanta): What's your assessment of Taijuan Walker going forward? How has his performance to date affected that assessment?

Mark Anderson: I remain high on Walker and still see #2 starter potential in his future. I haven't altered his projection much at all based on MLB performance to date.

Robbber (Norcal): Thanks for doing the chat. Which bourbon did you pick for tonight?

Mark Anderson: It's absolutely my pleasure, Robber!

Going with an old standby tonight, and sipping on a little Eagle Rare (neat, of course). Speaking of Eagle Rare, I need to refill that glass....back in a minute.

Ben (Philly): In light of the CHW rankings, where do you come down on the Tim Anderson vs. JP Crawford debate now?

Mark Anderson: I favor Crawford right now, simply because of the feel for the game, and what I consider less relative risk (Crawford is still risky). As much of a tools whore as I am, Anderson stands out to me, but Crawford is the guy I would prefer.

Ian (Arkansas): On stuff (not stature), how close is Urias to Giolito? And how would you compare either to Bundy?

Mark Anderson: Urias is really good, and unlike any talent I've seen in my ten years scouting, but he's not Giolito. Giolito is obscene, and he's better than Bundy. I think there's a case to be made that Bundy and Urias are similar in terms of their prospect stature at a similar age.

oldbopper (New Britain, CT): The Twins have left town and the Rockies have moved in. Trevor Story is just about the only player I have read anything about who is headed here and he hit .200 at Tulsa. Is there any chance that Eddie Butler or any of the kids from the 2014 Asheville team might start the season here?

Mark Anderson: I don't see those guys starting the season in New Britain, but I would be surprised if you didn't see Dahl, and possibly even McMahon in Double-A at some point this season.

Eddie Bajek (Jacksonville, FL): Can any of the Tigers' minor league free agent signings crack their top ten prospects right now?

Mark Anderson: I'm not sure I would go quite that far with a group that includes guys like Rafael Dolis, Alberto Cabrera, Jefry Marte, Xavier Avery, Tim Melville, and Omar Duran, but it is probably closer than it should be given the state of the Tigers system.

Doctor K (Niagara Falls): Any word on Danny Hultzen? Is he worth taking a shot at in a keeper league? What's his potential look like at this point?

Mark Anderson: Not a fantasy expect, but I wouldn't pay much attention to him at this point. If he comes back and regains an MLB role, its likely at the back of a rotation with minimal impact. I was never a huge fan before the injuries, so maybe I'm biased.

Doctor K (Niagara Falls): Rank them... Miguel Almonte, CJ Edwards, Alexander Reyes

Mark Anderson: Reyes, Almonte, Edwards.

Kyle (Toronto): The Blue Jays have already been connected to upcoming July 2 free agent Vlad Guerrero Jr by Kiley McDaniel. His carrying tool appears to be his raw power. How high would you project it at this stage? A future 60 raw or higher?

Mark Anderson: Everything I've gotten from international scouts suggests they're pretty comfortable tossing a future plus grade on the raw power, and there's a chance it inches higher than that.

Jay (Toronto): Which under-the-radar Blue Jays prospect do you think will have a coming out party in 2015? Rowdy Tellez, Angel Perdomo, Dan Jansen, or Lane Thomas?

Mark Anderson: Oh, one of my secret crushes, Angel Perdomo. I fully expect to see people talking about him extensively by this time next year.

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): What are the chances either Josh Bell or Corey Seager contribute at the MLB level this year?

Mark Anderson: Limited chance that either gets that chance, but I would put my money with Seager if forced.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Will Sean Nolin be in the A's rotation to start the season? Can he be a mid-rotation guy or do you see him as a #5?

Mark Anderson: There's a decent chance Nolin gets a shot coming out of spring training, but if I'm the A's, I prefer Graveman in the fifth spot. Long term, I'm not that high on Nolin, viewing him as more of a #5 starter.

Kevin (Chicago (North Side)): Are Eloy Jimenez and Glyber Torres the next big Cubs prospects? I realize they are only 18, but is it crazy to compare them to Soler and Russell?

Mark Anderson: I won't go so far as to suggest they're going to reach the prospect heights of Soler and Russell at this stage of the game, but I have been impressed with both in my limited looks. I like Torres to develop a little quicker, but both have impact raw potential

Vic (Baltimore): What are your thoughts on Trevor Story? Will his contact rate prevent him from being a full time regular?

Mark Anderson: I've soured on the overall profile with Story and view him as more a utility player than a regular at the MLB level.

Omar (B'More Hood): Mark, I've soured on Manny Machado and am looking to sell him. Mistake? What's your outlook on him? Thanks.

Mark Anderson: I do think that is a mistake. There's certainly reason to be concerned with Machado, but there's still immense physical gifts, excellent defense, and the bat speed and overall offensive potential to be a complete monster. With maturity and development, I still think he's a premium player.

G Money (Atlanta): Does 271 innings on Bumgarner's arm from last year, worry you a little bit? Is he a high injury risk this year? 320 + innings in two years just seems like a lot.

Mark Anderson: Workhorse! There may be a little hangover in 2015, but I'm not overly worried. Bumgarner is a freak of nature.

Doctor K (Niagara Falls): In your opinion, is Corey Seager going to be a top tier SS - or a top tier 3B? Just by looking at his size, he looks like a third baseman. If the Dodgers wish for him to play the hot corner, do you feel they will start making the transition this season?

Mark Anderson: I would lean toward third base long term, but that move may not come until after he's settled in at the big league level. There's enough in the shortstop game for Seager that he can probably make it work for a short time.

RatedRookie (Atlanta): Is Sean Manaea firmly back on the prospect radar? Has re-established the ceiling first glimpse in his Cape Cod stardom?

Mark Anderson: Absolutely back on the prospect radar and has been for a year-plus. It would be tough for him to regain the hype he had on the Cape a couple of years ago, and having seen him during that time, that's not an insult. He was ridiculous on the Cape that summer and not many prospects can sustain or get back to that level.

david (augusta): Would you take Joey Gallo over Miguel Sano, at this point? I have a tough time slotting one over the other.

Mark Anderson: I don't think you're alone in struggling with this question. With health and some demonstrated ability at Double-A, I would be inclined to hedge toward Gallo at this point. The power in both players' game blows my mind.

Walker (Texas): Carlos Carrasco, has he turned it around and can he pitch like a #1, or is he a #2 or #3?

Mark Anderson: There's no possible way I would project Carrasco out as a #1 at this point in the game. I'm still skeptical that he can sustain the success he saw last year in the rotation, but if he does, he looks like a legitimate #3 arm.

Warren (Andover): I like this kid. Nick Longhi 1B or OF? Can hit. Where does he start this year?

Mark Anderson: I went back and forth on Longhi this year with Lowell. I want to see him stay within himself more and rely on his natural strength to generate power, rather than selling out like he did in many of the viewings I had this year. I think he can survive in the outfield, but he won't be a significant defensive asset. I would expect to see Longhi in Low-A this year.

GrinnellSteve (Grinnell): Assuming no injuries, is there much precedent for a player repeating AAA and absolutely crapping the bed, regressing in just about every way, and then going on to have a productive MLB career? Specifically, can Matt Davidson be a starting 3B on a good team? Apparently some people used to think he could do that. Does anybody still think it? Thanks.

Mark Anderson: I'm more inclined to see Davidson as a second division guy at this point, and while I may have had higher hopes for him in the past, I'm not sure they were ever that much higher. Given the lack of raw power in the game today, it's hard to write off Davidson as a potential MLB player, but the odds are certainly slim.

Doctor K (Niagara Falls): Chad Wallach appeared on my watch list in 2014. It's difficult to find a catcher that hits over .300. He also walks a ton. Does he have the potential to be a starter in the bigs within the next few years? Or even a top prospect?

Mark Anderson: Wallach comes up short of the regular tag for me. I think he's more likely to provide more defensive value than offensive value at the big league level, leaving in more of a part time or bench role.

Darren (Norfolk): How concerned are you by Javier Baez's high K rates? Have you downgraded his odds of stardom over the past year?

Mark Anderson: The strikeout rates are an obvious concern, but I haven't killed my view of him. I still think extremely highly of his future potential and see him as an All-Star caliber player, though it may not happen as quickly as many would like or originally thought.

kylanje (FLORIDA): Wil Myers or Eric Hosmer is a Keep forever league?

Mark Anderson: I'll take Eric Hosmer; just not sure Myers gets everything together to reach his ceiling, and while Hosmer hasn't developed as hoped to date, I still believe he does more than Myers over the long haul.

Eric (LA): It is late in the 2015 season: Brett Anderson is on the DL for the 4th time and Brandon McCarthy is injured as well. Does Urias get the call? My understanding is that he is close to a finished product at age 18...

Mark Anderson: Urias can certainly handle facing big league hitters in 2015; hell he could have handled it in 2014. That said, whether he gets the call comes entirely down to how protective the Dodgers want to be of their prized asset, and how much they feel he could augment their playoff chances down the stretch. I wouldn't rule it out, but I would be mildly surprised if we saw him in the big leagues for more than a cup of coffee in 2015.

Matthew (Austin TX): What kind of player do you think Jorge Alfaro will end up becoming?

Mark Anderson: As has been well documented, there's still a ton of risk in Alfaro's game, despite the developmental progress he's made the last couple of years. In the end, I think he becomes an above-average catcher at the Major League level, and I still think there's a reasonable chance he's at least an occasional All-Star.

Mike (Utica): What do you think of young SS Richard Urena?

Mark Anderson: Glove first guy that will stick at shortstop, and while there's limited power in the offensive profile, he has a chance to hit enough for the package to work as an everyday guy. I want to see how his hands and mechanics work at higher levels, but there's a very good chance it is going to work.

Jim (Ottawa): Toronto has a little bit of money left but has a couple of potential needs (Closer, 2B, CF, SP). If you were the team's GM which would you prioritize knowing that the likely fallback options for those positions were Dalton Pompey (CF), Brett Cecil (CL), and Devon Travis (2b). Axford or K-Rod for closer and Hector Olivera at second base would look nice no?

Mark Anderson: I'm not a believer in Devon Travis as a significant MLB contributor, so I would focus my attention on finding alternatives or ideally an answer at second base. If not that, then I think it makes more sense to focus on finding additional arms for the rotation at this point.

Dylan (RI): Speaking of Hoffman, when can we expect to see him back on the mound?

Mark Anderson: I would look toward the second half of the season, possibly a little earlier. There's no reason to rush him back.

Quentin (Kansas City): Is Piscotty (STL) a future regular in RF for you?

Mark Anderson: Yes. He's not going to be a star, but Piscotty is very likely to be a solid MLB regular for an extended period of time.

GoTribe06 (Lynchburg, VA): What's a realistic projection for Matt Moore in 2015 and beyond?

Mark Anderson: The 2015 season is likely to be a transition back to the MLB level and whatever his post-surgery stuff is going to look like, but long term, I still like him as a frontline starter.

Mike (Nassau): Given the potential horror show Flores could be at SS, should the Mets consider starting Dilson Herrera, instead?

Mark Anderson: I think they'd be better off going a third direction (not that I know what that is), but Herrera isn't going to be the answer at shortstop either. If the club believes in Flores' bat, then they might as well give him a shot and see if he can adjust to the defensive requirements of the position, at least if his bat comes along as hoped.

Goseman (Detroit): Do you prefer Alex Colome or Nate Karns or Burch Smith as a starter?

Mark Anderson: I'll take Colome out of that trio.

Parker (Houston): How much bourbon have you had?

Mark Anderson: Two fingers. I'm behaving myself while I chat with you fine folks.

Sumner (Orlando ): Soler, Betts, Heyward, or Yelich, which one has the better year?

Mark Anderson: I'm inclined to side with Heyward or Yelich. For reasons I cannot explain, I can't give up on Heyward putting everything together one of these seasons, and Yelich is just a fantastic offensive talent.

MarcT (Hoboken): Nimmo or Conforto?

Mark Anderson: Nimmo is my preference here, but I'm a little ambivalent toward both players.

Doctor K (Niagara Falls): I have a bit of a man crush on Dalton Pompey. He's currently penciled in as the Jays starting CF. Is he the real deal? He jumped though the minor leagues fairly quickly. He obviously still has some developing to do, but do you feel he'll be productive in his first MLB season?

Mark Anderson: I like Pompey from a long term perspective, but his production in 2015 is going to amount to his defensive value and whatever he can scrape out on the offensive side as he adjusts to the MLB level. I like him to hit for average, post decent power numbers and add some speed to the mix once he settles in, but there will be bumps in the road this year.

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): Do the Braves have an outfield prospects nearly ready for the Show? What are they gonna do in LF?

Mark Anderson: I wouldn't be optimistic about much of anything as it relates to outfielders at the upper levels of the Braves' minor league system. Unless you believe Edward Salcedo is suddenly going to put his tools to use, or Joey Terdoslavich is going to take the role, then as it stands now, the position is likely to remain a bit of a hole.

Tyler Durden (A basement ): Fast forward to this time next year. Who are two prospects that are starting to become names to monitor?

Mark Anderson: There's growing rumblings that shortstop Anthony Pereira could be a guy that makes some leaps and puts his name on the map in the Tigers system, with a couple of scouts going so far as to suggest a Domingo Leyba/Willy Adames type jump onto the radar.

I mentioned him earlier in this chat, but Blue Jays LHP Angel Perdomo is another guy I think could make some strides and ultimately make a name for himself in 2015.

Chris (Law School): I would just like to thank you for helping me survive my 3-hour contracts class tonight. Let's do this every Tuesday and Thursday night!

Mark Anderson: Glad I could help...just return the favor the next time I have some substantial contract-related work at my real job!

Gravybill (Indoors): Are you confident Jose Martinez can put his injuries behind him and put together a strong major league career?

Mark Anderson: Until he's back on the bump and showing pre-injury stuff, I would not say I am confident. Martinez still had plenty development ahead of him when he hit the shelf, and that development has now been delayed for at least a season. I still believe in the long term potential, but he needs to be healthy and on the field for me to give credence to his MLB potential.

Walt (Jersey): No contest on the defensive side, but higher offensive upside: Dilson Herrera or Francisco Lindor?

Mark Anderson: The sum of Lindor's offensive parts -- ability to hit for average, likely on-base skills, decent pop, and good base stealing ability -- give him the edge for me. Herrera doesn't have as broad a skill set, and thus less margin for error.

Michael (Baltimore): What are your thoughts on Chris Owings? He seems to have an underrated offensive profile (potential for power, speed, and decent average). Do you think he'll be a top 10 shortstop in 2015?

Mark Anderson: I agree he seems to be a bit underrated. He's going to be a fine player at his peak, one capable of hitting .260-.275 with average pop and 15-18 stolen bases. He's not going to get on base as much as many fans of today's game would like, but that won't prevent him from being a fine player. Top 10 shortstop in 2015 may be a bit of a stretch, but not out of the realm of possibility in the future.

Bill Clinton (CA): What are your thoughts on Yasmany Tomas? I ask because I have the #1 pick in my dynasty league and unless Moncada signs, I might have to take Tomas. Is there any chance we could see another Abreu type here? The more I look at him, the more I see a .240-.250 AVG with 25 HR's. Not bad, but not elite. Here's to hoping Yoan Moncada signs so Yahoo puts him in their system!

Mark Anderson: I don't see a scenario where Tomas turns into Jose Abreu; despite what seems like similar concerns over his hit tool. With Abreu, scouts were split on how he would fare (he obviously fared quite well). With Tomas, I haven't seen much of a split in the scouting community, more of a consensus that he's not going to hit much, but when he does it will likely be with some authority and power. The adjustment period for Tomas could be more extended than some of the more recent Cuban imports, but he should still provide some power, if you can manage the likely low average on your fantasy team.

Matt (Cambridge): Could A.J. Cole kinda look like young Jordan Zimmermann? Both were noted for nice frames,easy deliveries,plus fastballs in the mid 90's and excellent control. The knock on both of them was the lack of a true strikeout secondary pitch. But Zimmermann has been better than expected.

Mark Anderson: Having seen both players from the early stages of their development (Cole in high school and Zimmerman in college), and extensively throughout their careers, I have trouble with this comparison. There are some superficial items that suggest they could be similar, but in the end, I don't think Cole has the type of potential to reach Zimmerman's heights. Cole's more likely to settle into the middle of a rotation than the front.

hdub (the bleachers): jabari henry had an insane year in the cal league. do you think he could have at least a 45 hit tool in the bigs?

Mark Anderson: Henry's not a guy I've been impressed with, and given what the Cal League does to offensive numbers, color me unimpressed with his 2014 stats, as well. I don't see Henry as a future MLB player and there's little chance I would project his hit tool to a fringe-average level.

Kyle (Tennessee ): Is Derek Fisher a guy to keep an eye on? How much do you like his bat?

Mark Anderson: Fisher should absolutely draw some of your attention; he's a nice prospect with a legitimate MLB future. He's limited to left field for me, defensively, but there's a chance the bat holds up with that profile. The power can play to an above-average level and I think he can be an above-average hitter as well, making him an intriguing offensive player if it all comes together.

Mike (Boulder, CO): What are the reports on Eddie Butler's injured shoulder? Is he still a top 25 prospect, even with his poor performance last season? Are you concerned about his k/9?

Mark Anderson: There's plenty of concern to go around with Butler right now. I got fairly encouraging reports on the health of his shoulder late in the year, but I'm not sure how much that means until he shows it on the bump in 2015. The stuff can be filthy at times, giving hope to improved strikeout rates and a return to the form that saw him ranked so highly in the past, but I wouldn't blame people for being extremely cautious with him at this point.

Zach Morris (Bayside): What do you think of Marcus Semien? I know you weren't a fan of the Samardzija deal, but what can we expect from him going forward stats-wise? Is he an everyday shortstop at the major league level?

Mark Anderson: Semien comes up short of that role for me. he's more of a second division type or utility player, though I wouldn't blame a club for giving him a shot to fill a larger role. He's already exceeded some expectations in his career and it is possible he does so again.

Two74 (Florida): What are your thoughts on Ozhaino Albies? Is he a better long-term SS prospect than, say, Amed Rosario or Raul Mondesi?

Mark Anderson: Intriguing set of tools, but also an incredibly long ways off. Mondesi is light years ahead of Albies as a long-term shortstop prospect, and as a resident believer in Rosario, I'm not inclined to put Albies in his class either.

Alex (Anaheim): Who's the best prospect almost nobody is talking about?

Mark Anderson: People are talking about David Dahl, but not nearly enough. Maybe the perceived lack of hype (at least from me) is a result of his disappointing 2013 season, and people wondering just what to make of him after he came back strong in 2014, but this kid is a monster in the making. Jump aboard, folks, there's more room on the bandwagon than there should be at this stage of the game.

Mark Anderson: As much as it pains me to admit, I only had about four hours available to chat tonight. Thanks so much to everyone for coming out and asking fantastic questions. I'm sorry I couldn't get to everything in the queue, but I promise to do another chat again next month! In the meantime, please feel free to catch me on Twitter (@ProspectMark) if you have additional questions.


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